Council warns of bridge load breaches

12 March, 2019Posted in: Roads and Assets
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Wingecarribee Shire Council is calling on heavy vehicle road users to observe local bridge load limitations following a spate of recent breaches.

Council’s Manager of Assets, Stace Lewer said the most recent example reported involved trucks exceeding local bridge weight limits by almost tenfold.

“We’ve collected evidence in the past weeks showing 40 tonne trucks crossing rural bridges in the Meryla area clearly marked as having a four tonne capacity,” he said.

“This reckless and dangerous behaviour is putting the safety of both the truckies and other road users at risk,” Mr Lewer said.

“Some of these bridges are elevated at considerable height above the creek bed below and we’re fortunate that we haven’t witnessed a serious accident as yet.”

Mr Lewer said the extreme loads were also placing enormous stresses on public infrastructure which had been clearly signposted as not being designed to accommodate such weight.

“These loads are causing considerable damage to these rural bridges and roads,” he said.  “Fixing and replacing this essential infrastructure due to premature wear is ultimately borne by the ratepayers.”

In another recent incident the bridge load limit restriction signs had been deliberately covered up.

“Our rural bridges have been designed to carry specific weights and loads,” Mr Lewer said.  “And the signs erected before them are not only designed to alert and protect all road users, but are enforceable regulatory signs.”

“Covering roadside safety signs and breaking load limits is not only dangerous but an offence and we respectfully ask that these limitations are adhered to for the safety of all motorists.”

As per Wingecarribee Shire Council’s 2018-2022 Capital Works Program, Council is investing millions of dollars into bridge replacements over this period. Further to this Council has sought external state funding opportunities to assist in fast-tracking the replacement of additional vital network components.

For any enquiries regarding local bridge load limits, contact Councils Road Asset Engineer, Rhys Horsley on 4868 0707.